16 Wedding Dress Designers Every It-Girl Is Wearing On Their Big Day

There’s a commonly held belief that every girl dreams of her wedding day—fantasies surrounding flowers, food, family, and finding that forever love are a “given.” But, not every woman can relate to the sentiment; I sure don’t. The first time a friend asked me to guess what kind of wedding dress I’d want to wear (despite no diamond in sight), I was sent into an extensional crisis. How are you supposed to know what type of wedding dress you want to wear? Do you choose to buy an affordable gown, or do you splurge? Should you think about trends or skip them altogether? These are all questions that plagued me and, I assume, plague any bride-to-be when it comes to discerning what wedding dress is worth buying.  Finding that perfect wedding dress can be as hard as finding someone special. Add on top of that the stress and high costs of planning a wedding in general. While I have yet to say I’ve personally experienced that process yet (or even want to), I can say that as a fashion editor, there’s a sense of joy to be found in learning about wedding dress designers. From legendary designers to rising stars, so many incredible creatives that are making the prospect of planning that big day all the more exciting. So in that vein, I’ve done some research to identify the 16 wedding dress designers beloved by the fashion set right now. Whether you’re planning your own wedding or are just curious, these designers need to be on your radar. 

You can never predict when you’ll fall into a whirlwind romance, but in hindsight, it was always clear that Danielle Frankel would manage to sweep the fashion industry off its feet. Although Hirsch founded the bridal atelier in 2017, it’s managed to become the it-bridal brand among the fashion set. In part, that’s due to the fact Hirsch made history as the first-ever bridal designer invited to participate in the CDFA’s annual fashion fund in 2019. But really, it all boils down to Hirsch’s whimsical approach to design. With dresses featuring Chantilly lace, satin piped corsets, and bubble hems, falling hard for a Frankel gown is a given. 

More wedding gowns can be shopped in New York City via an appointment. 

It’s rather wild to think that you’ve found your loved one in this ever-expansive universe, with billions of souls residing on earth over centuries. It’s a moment that feels as special as a comet sighting, so it calls for an even more special dress—enter: Markarian. Founded by Alexandra O’Neill in 2017, this New York-based atelier specializes in bridal and evening wear that taps into “celestial romanticism.” That’s embodied through classic silhouettes and fine craftsmanship (think: floor-length silk column gowns adorned with bows, crystal embellishments, and embroidered-on sequins). The result is a collection of wedding gowns that feel out of this world. 

More wedding gowns can be shopped in New York City via an appointment. 

When you can’t find your dream wedding dress, you make it—or at least, that’s what legendary designer, and the queen of punk, Vivienne Westwood, did back in ’62. Since then, the designer‘s couture and made-to-order wedding gowns have become beloved among the fashion set (for a good reason). With dresses featuring exposed corsetry, recycled tulle, vegan silk, and three-dimensional details using crystals, pearls, and ostrich feathers, you can rest assured that any Vivienne Westwood dress won’t fit into that “typical” bridal box. 

More wedding gowns can be shopped in New York, London, and Los Angeles via an appointment. 

Toss everything you think you know about Khaite because this New York-based brand is constantly redefining itself. Founded by Catherine Holstein in 2016, this ready-to-wear label has kept the fashion world on its toes since its inception because of its avant-garde approach to luxury. Unlike other houses that thrive on the “more or more” motto, the entire nature of this brand is distilled into the phrase “low-key luxury” it doesn’t scream expensive; rather, it whispers softly like a lover. Don’t be fooled, though; this brand has some of the most buzzed-about pieces—like the viral Katie Holmes-approved knitted bra or oversized handbags. But possibly the most exciting (and talked about) Khaite pieces are its bridalwear. With no-fuss dresses championing cool Ballerina-inspired drop waists, polished pintuck pleats, and cozy cottons these dresses are ideal for the low-key bride. 

All bridal inquiries can be made online. 

Picking an outfit for a special occasion is already challenging enough, but for your big wedding day? Even harder. Luckily, Galvan London exists. Founded by the female quartet Katherine Holmgren, Carolyn Hodler, Anna-Christin Haas, and Sola Harrison in 2014, this brand is creating some of the sleekest bridalwear out there. Its focus on versatile and minimal designs (i.e., floor-length silk jacquard halter neck gowns or recycled satin-like matching white suiting separates) makes its pieces ideal for wearing for your big day and any celebration thereafter. 

More wedding gowns can be shopped in New York and London via an appointment. 

Everyone wants to feel like royalty on their wedding day, and the most sure-fire way to ensure just that is by wearing an Emilia Wickstead wedding gown. The New Zealand-born designer first got her start in the industry by attending Central Saint Martins in London, followed by cutting her teeth at Proenza Schouler and Vogue. Her extensive experience inspired her to launch her made-to-measure atelier in 2009, which quickly became the it-brand among the fashion elite (including the Duchess of Cambridge herself). But it’s not the hype that makes this brand worth shopping because once you see an Emilia Wickstead piece, you get the fanfare. There’s a regality felt in every garnment—collarbones are always accentuated perfectly with sleek necklines, hips accented with dramatic drop-waists, and A-line skirts in the dreamiest ways. Basically, if you were to make a wish to your fairy godmother for the most flattering dress to marry a Prince, she’d send you Wickstead’s way. 

More wedding gowns can be shopped in London via an appointment. 

Even if someone doesn’t entirely follow fashion, there’s a high chance that they’ve heard about Oscar De La Renta. But knowing the brand’s name and knowing its story is an entirely different thing. While many may know this eponymous label on account of its bridalwear, what might come as a surprise is that it took over 43 years from its founding in ’65 for the late Oscar De La Renta to make his foray into bridal. In part, that’s due to his desire to deviate from early career experience working at couture houses like Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Christian Dior— for him, it was all about creating ready-to-wear pieces that brought elegance into the everyday. That mindful approach can be felt throughout the bridal collection and is continued by co-creative directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garica. Each wedding gown pairs timeless silhouettes with glamorous craftsmanship in a way that makes it so utterly clear it’s an Oscar De La Renta piece that even the most anti-fashion people can tell. 

More wedding gowns can be shopped in person via an appointment. 

The great thing about shopping for a wedding dress in this era is that you can access designers from around the globe. But if the idea of searching for the perfect dress in 195 countries stresses you out, we recommend you start by perusing the collections of Rasario. Founded by Rasida Lakoba in 2012, the Abkhazian-born designer has become an international sensation with fans around the globe, including the one-and-only Jennifer Lopez. It’s easy to see why she’s become a designer to watch, as her gowns balance trend-forward elements (like high-slits, crystals, and bustiers) with timeless silhouettes perfectly. Which arguably makes this brand the ideal place to shop for a wedding dress, no matter the zip code you reside in. 

More bridal gowns can be found online. 

There’s no denying that the wedding formalities have altered since the onset of the pandemic; no longer is it a requirement to have the fanciful frock. In fact, it’s more common than ever for the fashion set to pull a dress off the rack for the big day, especially when it’s from a brand like Erdem. Founded by the Turkish-British designer Erdem Moralıoğlu in 2005, this brand has established itself as one of fashion’s darlings by securing numerous prestigious awards over the years. Accolades aside, what makes Erdem noteworthy was the brand’s expansion into bridalwear in 2021. Like its ready-to-wear pieces, the bridal collection brings that beloved overly feminine look to the forefront through a focus on whitework embroidery, lace, and organza to create dresses you want to run to the chapel in, on sight. 

More bridal gowns can be found online. 

Another beloved ready-to-wear designer that recently made its debut in bridalwear? Molly Goddard. For the fashion set, it felt like a long-time coming considering the British designer’s popular whimsical tulle gowns were already ideal for getting hitched in. But Goddard wasn’t interested in formally making wedding gowns—until now. This past June, Goddard released 12 idyllic wedding gowns featuring her signature touches: frills, ruffles, and all the tulle. For those of us who consider ourselves hardcore Goddard fans (and anyone who is a hardcore romantic), one could say the wait for this bridal collection was as worthwhile as waiting to find “the one.” 

More bridal gowns can be found online. 

When you think of weddings, what words do you associate with them? For many women worldwide, I can guess two words always come to the forefront of their thoughts: Vera Wang. The eponymous label was founded by Wang in 1990 when she opened her first storefront. Since then, she’s revolutionized the bridal industry through her avante-garde approach to design and building her brand. She may have caught the attention of the fashion set and a-list celebrities for her gowns with exaggerated silhouettes, but she’s kept the zeitgeist’s attention through her prowess. While other designers may stick to a traditional business model, she’s been unafraid to try new things—like running a successful bespoke couture line while partnering with retailers like David’s Bridal to offer affordable options too. It’s led to her building not only a million-dollar brand but has cemented her name into the history books and hearts of brides-to-be everywhere. 

While this isn’t a traditional wedding gown, more gowns can be shopped in person via an appointment. 

Any bride that’s gone into a store or scrolled online at some point has had a sense of dread overtake them as they wonder, “are all these dresses the same?” Or at least, that was the experience for Australian bridal designer Kyha Scott. After growing weary during her own search for the perfect wedding dress, Scott decided to found her label, Khya Studios. Since 2011, the brand has been aiming to fill the whitespace in the bridal market by breaking away from the traditional “wedding” look. She does this through sleek silhouettes with show-stopping details that can be worn off-the-rack or made to size and can be worn on your wedding day or any special occasion after. It’s Scott’s modern approach to wedding design that makes this the ideal place to shop for any bride who wants to move past the ballgown and find something truly unique. 

More bridal gowns can be found online.

If there’s one wedding fantasy even the most anti-wedding brides can fall susceptible to, it’s the ideal of appearing on the aisle in a devastatingly sophisticated dress. When it comes to fulfilling that dream, no other brands do it like Carolina Herrera. The namesake label was founded by the Venezuelan designer in 1981 and quickly established itself in the ready-to-wear, bridal, and beauty categories as the purveyor of all things posh. Herrera’s signature style secured her numerous accolades over the years, but really the brand’s success lies with its bridalwear. Tapping into our collective fantasies, Carolina Herra’s classic gown silhouettes feature couture details like glass beading, bows, and ruffles, making them the embodiment of the “dream dress and damn-near impossible to not droll over. 

More wedding gowns can be shopped in person via an appointment. 

Every great wedding designer can empathize with the struggle to find the perfect dress. It’s an experience that compelled the late Amsale Aberra to create her gown for her nuptials and, subsequently, everything that followed thereafter. Designing your dream dress is one thing, but changing the industry is a whole other thing—Aberra managed to do both. The Ethiopian-American designer co-founded her namesake bridal label, AmSale, with her partner, Neil Brown, in 1985. Unlike other bridal brands of the time, AmSale not only was (and still is) Black-owned, but the New York City-based atelier built its following because of its minimalist gowns at various price points. With a focus on simple gowns with sophisticated touches (i.e., a taffeta open-back dress with a small bow belt), Aberra was able to show that just because a gown is straightforward doesn’t make it any less special. 

More wedding gowns can be shopped in person via an appointment.

Confession: It’s tough for a wedding gown to make me audibly gasp, yet I did just that the first time I spotted a Cucculelli Shaheen gown. Can you blame me, though? It’s hard not to fawn over hand-embroidered dresses, especially when they’re jaw-dropping as this brand’s bridal creations. Founded by partners Anthony Cucculelli and Anna Rose Shaheen in 2016, this New York City-based couture label has gained the attention of the fashion set over the past few seasons because of the duo’s innate ability to use alchemy to transform minimal silhouettes into stellar masterpieces. A simple white silk slip dress can suddenly become a canvas for artful beadwork, or a classic mini-dress can feel like a mosaic wall. This attentiveness to detail is what makes Cucculelli Shaheen’s collections more than just run-of-the-mill dresses—they’re literal artwork. 

More bridal gowns can be found online.

You’ve made it to the end of this story, and hopefully, you’ve been able to pin a few new favorite wedding designers to shop for your big day. But if you’re still looking for the perfect dress, look no further than Monique Lhuillier. While the married partners Lhuillier and Bugbee in 1996 may have founded this namesake bridal label, it has quickly cemented itself as one of the top bridal ateliers in the world. With a focus on modern (but still feminine) bridal and ready-to-wear collections available at various price points it’s safe to say that you’ll be sure to find that one dress that can make you ready to say, “I Do.” 

More gowns from the bridal line can be found online.

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